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Château Rauzan-Gassies

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Address: 33460 Margaux

Telephone: +33 (0)5 57 88 71 88

E-mail: jp.quie@domaines-quie.com

Website: www.domaines-quie.com

Château Rauzan-Gassies should be one of the finest wines in Bordeaux – it forms part of the once united Rauzan estate which was divided in the late eighteenth century. Although there have been some improvements here in their recent wines [the 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015 are good efforts] this property has been an under-performer for a number of years. The underachievement here is all the more noticeable given the rebirth of neighbour Rauzan-Ségla over the past decade or so. Château Rauzan-Gassies has been in the hands of the Quie family since 1945. 

Vineyard/Soil: Sandy gravel soil planted with 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot.

Winemaking/Elevage: Traditional with barrel ageing.

  • 2015 Deep and dark; saturated look; little reductive at first but opened up to show pure blackcurrant fruit; fresh if a little stalky; I like the tempo here though – nice fruit, layers and freshness; good length too on the finish. Real signs of steady improvement here over the past few vintages. This is the best young Rauzan-Gassies I have tasted I think. [84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 14% alc]. Drink 2020-2033. 90-92+
  • 2014 Dark core; black at centre; full blackcurrant aromas; some reductive notes; lots of depth and opens up well; good effort here for this property and continues the steady progression of recent vintages; cool cabernet on the palate with purity; freshness, extract and matter; good length – good effort. [70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 2.5%, 1.5% Petit Verdot, 45% new oak]. Drink 2020-2030. Tasted 31 March, 2015 at UGC. 88-90
  • 2013 Deep and dark; saturated looking compared to many in the appellation at the UGC; stalky fruit; some bubblegum notes; little reductive; quite tight and sappy on the palate – almost a bit undermade but in the context of the vintage that might prove to be a good thing. Short and light on the finish. [68% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot]. Tasted UGCB April 2014. Drink 2017-2023. 84-86
  • 2012 Deep colour; tight to rim; resin, depth; some creamy blackcurrant notes with perfume; nice palate – attractive Margaux; plenty of ripe, perfumed fruit and soft and nicely handled tannins. Sap and life too. A really good effort here from Rauzan-Gassies in 2012. One of the best wines I’ve had from this estate in recent years. Drink 2016-2028. 90 UGC Oct ’14 [Earlier note] Deep and saturated; purple at edge; fresh; pretty, some perfume and blackcurrant notes; palate ripe entry; lacks a bit of finesse and focus of some; more extracted on the finish chewy but overall [for Gassies] not that bad. 87-88. Tasted UGC Thursday April 11, 2013. [Earlier note] Deep and dark looking; some stalky Cabernet – spicy and fresh; some layers; nice entry, quite fat and dense but with some angularity to the tannins and the finish. Nevertheless not a bad effort. 71% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot. 86-88 Tasted UGC Tuesday April 9, 2013
  • 2011 Mid depth; some leafy blackcurrant tones; stalky fruit on the palate – uncomplicated but not forced or pushed out of shape; clean and clear fruit here. Some chew on the end but not a bad effort here. Are things finally on the up here? Drink 2015-2026. 86 UGC Oct ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth, red at edge; red fruits, some strawberries; has promise, palate some briary spicy notes and some mineral as well as some hardness [acid?]. Quite dense and chewy but rather tannic and lacks finesse. 85-87
  • 2010 Mid depth; ink and jam tones; briary and blackcurrant fruits; some purity here; clean; pretty gutsy on the palate [not as caressing at the best]; spicy finish. Good effort from Rauzan-Gassies [given past performances]; impressive depth and saturation of flavour from this property – gutsy if a little lacking in finesse. Drink 2016-2028. 90 MW Institute Nov ’14 [Earlier note] Deepish; some earth and blackcurrants with some fruit yoghurt tones; quite grippy and structured palate; feels a bit hard and lacks generosity. Closed certainly. 85-86?/100 UGC Oct ’12 [Earlier] Deep and saturated; some violet, some coffee and blackcurrants and cassis; good; quite nicely done; palate a little extracted but there is density and concentration. Bit chunky and grippy too. Probably will be ok. Lots of oak on finish however. Grippy and tannic finish. Not that bad overall. 87-89+/100 Tasted 5 April 2011 [Second tasting] Deep and dark; some density on the nose; blackcurrant fruit and some cough mixture; sweetness from the oak, pretty good; oak dominates the palate but there is flesh here. Not a bad effort from this estate. Chew and grip at the end 88-90/100 Tasted 7 April 2011 at UGC.
  • 2009 Mid depth; dark core; leafy, blackcurrant lift; some boiled sweet notes with earthy tones at the edge; earthy, meaty palate with blackcurrant and spice tones – lots of extract and material. Tannins are a little chunky. Lacks finesse but plenty going on and in the context of the estate, this is probably one of the best wines from here in years. Drink 2015-2025. 90 MW Institute Nov ’13 [Earlier note] Mid depth, quite meaty looking; spice and perfume here and some meat; has Gassies finally triumphed? Again Margaux perfume on the palate, this is a very good effort to excellent by the standards of this property in the past; quite vibrant and vivacious with some furry tannin on the end. 90+/100 UGC Oct ’11 [Earlier] Sturdy, nutty nose; little bit of wet dog here; intense cassis; palate slightly overdone and extracted. Very dry tannins at the back 86-88?/100 [Second] Dark and impenetrable; inky; ripe fruit; some raspberry and jammy qualities; palate has perfume and some violets but wet wool element here – was a bit of wet dog on the palate – tannins quite chunky. Extracted here. Lacks finesse but has power. If the woolly wet dog element goes maybe 88?/100 Tasted 30th March and 1st April 2010.
  • 2008 Mid depth; quite open palate, lacks a bit of depth; some development; earthy palate, some plummy fruit and spice and chew. Not that bad as this estate goes. 87 MW Institute Nov ’12 [Earlier] Earthy mid red; quite fresh nose, some Cabernet, also some chocolate and violets; some violets on the palate; lacks concentration  but not over done and tannins not over dry. Some length. OKish 86/100 UGC Oct ’10
  • 2007 Deep; some lifted ripe red fruits; some wet stone and leaf; modest palate; red fruits lacks a bit of depth but not a bad effort for the vintage or this property. Elegant if light. 86/100 MW Institute Nov ’11 [Earlier] Mid depth; quite light but soft nose; some ripeness and herbs and spices; quite elegant palate with the bones poking through the flesh. Feels narrow. 84/100 UGC Oct ’09
  • 2006 Mid depth, good looking wine with some earthy tint; slightly dusty walnut note, ripeness but also dusty notes; some resin and leaf; palate quite mid-weight and lacks some intensity but a lot better than Domaines Quie estate Croziet Bages. Goodish chew on the palate. Bit foursquare and tannins a bit on the dry side though some length. 86/100 MW Institute Nov ’10 

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